|Produced for:||Fantomen 5/1978|
|# of pgs:||34|
The 21st Phantom is asked about a gravestone for "Lightning" that can be found in the Deep Woods. The Phantom explains that this is the burial place of his father's horse, the stud Lightning, "with a pedigree to the 6h century". The Phantom starts to tell the story of how the 20th Phantom became the owner of this magnificent horse.
The story is set when the 20th Phantom only had been Phantom for a year (presumably 1936). The Phantom is following the notorious criminal and slave trader Wolf Bassano through the desert. When Bassano sinks in quicksand, the Phantom tries unsuccessfully to rescue him. With Bassano dead, the chase is over and the Phantom starts the journey back. But the heat is too much and exhausted he falls off his camel. Fortunately he is found by Tuareg people and several hours later he wakes up in their camp.
During the night the camp is attacked by Spanish speaking soldiers. The Tuareg are transporting a large treasure from the sultan of Mali that shall be used to buy weapons to fight against the oppressors (presumably the Spanish colonial government). All Tuaregs are killed except a few who manage to escape, including the Phantom. The Tuaregs have a Spanish prisoner, which the Phantom saves from being killed as revenge. Grateful, the Spanish soldier Manolito help the Phantom to enter the Spanish fort, claiming to be a survivor from a lost regiment. The Spanish colonel has kept the Tuareg treasure for himself.
In the Spanish fort private Walker has a hard time keeping up with the military drill of the viscious sergeant Fedriano. At night, when the colonel is out drinking, the Phantom and Manolito break into the colonel's private quarters and find a letter that reveals that the Tuareg treasure has been hidden in the ruins of Marl. The colonel plans on retiring but will organize an expedition to the ruins that will "discover" the treasure, making the colonel a rich man. Unfortunately the colonel returns unexpectedly and discovers them in his apartment. Manolito is captured but the Phantom escapes.
With his Tuareg friends, the Phantom rides to the ruins of Marl and discovers the treasure. The Spanish general Rivas is an honest military officer who promises to set everything right at the Spanish fort. Stealing sheik Talman's Arabian horse, the Phantom rides back to the fort and manages to interrupt the execution of private Manolito. General Rivas arrests Colonel Delgado. The sheik offers the Phantom as much of the treasure that he will have. The Phantom rejects this, instead asking to keep the stud.
- Manolito Iserte
- Colonel Delgado, aka The Jackal
- Prince Omar Rashid
- Sergeant Fedriano
- General Rivas
- Wolf Bassano
Behind the scenes
- The northwest of Bengali consists of a Sahara-like desert.
- The European soldiers have Spanish names. Spain did not have any African colonies remotely close to the African East coast where Bengali traditionally is placed.
This story has been published in the following publications:
- "Shakaali", Mustanaamio 13/1978